Trump: Russian bounty scandal a “hoax,” says coronavirus will “disappear”

President Trump dismisses report that Russian agents offered bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan a "hoax" and once again says he believes the COVID-19 pandemic will soon "disappear." NBC's Alice Barr reports.

(NBC News)  President Trump continues to dismiss allegations that Russia paid the Taliban to target U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Speaking with Fox News in his first interview since the explosive story broke, Mr. Trump insisted he was not initially briefed on the matter because the intelligence is in dispute.

“Intelligence people didn’t even, many of them didn’t believe it happened at all. I think it’s a hoax,” Mr. Trump said.

The president’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, Says a top CIA official decided not to inform him.

“If it could be corroborated, then we’d have options to go to the president with,” O’Brien said.

Despite downplaying the threat, the Trump administration will brief Congressional leadership on the allegations.

Meanwhile, President Trump is repeating his claim that the coronavirus pandemic, now responsible for the deaths of nearly 130,000 Americans will “just disappear.”

A record number of infections were reported in 14 states this week, forcing the closure of beaches, bars and restaurants ahead of the July 4th weekend.

Mr. Trump is still resisting making masks mandatory , despite his own health officials’ pleas to wear them to slow the spread.

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